Is it true that you knew how to play the drums before you sat down in school and learned to read and write?
It’s a fact that I was about three or four years old when my dad practiced guitar at home in Vlastislav and I took wooden spoons and smashed furniture. Ours preferred to push me the casseroles. Barely five years old, I already had my first drums and accordion, piano practice was added and there was a daily drill.
And at that moment you became a legitimate, albeit the youngest, member of the family band?
Yes, me on drums, dad on lead guitar and uncle on bass guitar: we were in the best rock band ever. To this day, I am extremely sorry that we gradually smoothed out the big beat and retreated to keyboards. In order to have a job, we were forced to play another genre. Cultural halls full of children or retirement homes were also in demand.
Do you remember when Viktor Sodoma spotted you on the Trutnov stage and took you to him as a seven-year-old?
Few people can imagine that today. Soloist Pepa Melen, drummer and singer with Viktor Sodoma and later with František Janeček’s Kroků. But then I hated my famous “Five” and its brand. I didn’t want to still be that little kid, that little Pepíček Melen. So I put on my adult shoes and laced them up nicely.
I got married at the age of nineteen thinking that starting my own family would make a difference. To do this, I started a business in the book market. Of course, none of this turned out well. And hard times came.
What set you free?
Until I have a second wife. One finds out that one is not completely alone in one’s problems and that has a lot of weight. But I was able to be myself only much later.
In 2009, at an event where I was the moderator, we met the now deceased Petr Muk. We chatted and he offered me a completely different perspective. He explained to me that what I have, that unbearable quality for me, many others who sing and no one knows would like to have.
He made me think about how to use the Melen name and not hold back on the past. And that was a turning point for me, the bitterness disappeared from me. I found the courage not to like anything and to make my music despite all unfavorable forecasts. I’d been writing songs in a drawer for years and suddenly I didn’t want to give up. I recorded new stuff and offered it to radio stations.
of So I’m back, friends
There is a successful song in the world called So I’m back, friends. The first single from the upcoming album called “50”, which will be filled exclusively with unreleased songs.
You can listen to the entire interview between Lady Klokočníková and the singer with moderator Josef Melen in our audio archive.